Thursday, July 25, 2013

An Update & "Hard-To-Kill" Plants

A few days ago, I posted about the beginnings of the master bedroom re-do.  So far, we have prepped the area and painted two coats of white on the crown molding, but we still have to do the doors and the baseboards.  

As we were painting it was hard to tell much difference, then I took this picture, which shows the robin's egg blue next to the newly painted white door frame next to the door, which is the old yellow-y beige color:

What a difference!  The Benjamin Moore "White Rain" is looking more like the color on the paint chip simply by being hemmed in with a bright white.

I'll post more when the baseboards are done, and the room doesn't look so much like a disaster.


I am a fan of low-maintenance, hard-to-kill plants. They're my favorite 1) because I do not seem to have the greenest of thumbs and 2) because I don't have the best record of watering plants. Whoops.

With the help of my mom (who is like the Plant Whisperer), I have found some things that cannot be killed by my lack of gardening skill, the amazing amount of sun our yard gets, or the fact that we have hardly any dirt on top of the bedrock. (Also, anything that survived the two-year period our house was uninhabited, I consider to be pretty hardy.)

1) Rosemary.  I love how it smells and how it looks. I planted this in a large container with sage and parsley.  Those two quickly fried on the back patio, even when I moved them to shaded areas.
 Not the rosemary- still looking good.  We just bought the Bonnie brand rosemary from Home Depot for around $3-4.

2) Lavender.  This looks similar to rosemary and also smells divine, but it gets pretty little purple buds.  I have a potted one (also Bonnie brand) and three 10-gallon ones planted where nothing but weeds had been for years.  There is very little soil on top of the shale in that part of the backyard, so we had to use a mattock to get holes big a deep enough, but they're doing great there in full-sun. Since they're still relatively newly planted, I water them every day or two, and add plant food once a week to the watering.  I hope someday, these three will fill in the empty area, and I'll have enough that I can dry and bring inside to keep for the scent.


(I'm not sure why the pictures are sideways... still, a beautiful plant.)

3) Monkey grass.  You can read all about how to split and plant it here.

4) Veronica (I think):  I bought this guy at Home Depot at the beginning of June because I liked the color and that it's a perennial.  It likes full sun, and it looks nice where you need something tall.  Plus, it's something different-looking: it's not just foliage, and it's not a conventional bloom.

I paired it with creeping Jenny in pots by the front door. (Creeping Jenny is also a great plant, but it needs its soil to stay moist. It's a hard-to-kill plant if it's in a shadier area, or if sprinklers hit it.  I had to move it out of my full-sun mailbox planter.)

5)  Sweet potato vine: I'm a sucker for anything that will spill over the sides of a container (as seen in my love for creeping Jenny).  Sweet potato vine can handle lots of sunshine, and it's a nice bright apple green.


6) Vinca vine: This is sort of like ivy in that it will cover a large amount of ground in just a few years (It was a candidate for the bald spot in our front year).  It has done well in our backyard with pretty much no care other than the occasional sprinkler.  Our neighbors have this cover the majority of their front  yard.

7) Mint: This is almost becoming a pest in our yard because it spreads and grows so quickly (it took over the backyard while no one was living here).  It fills in pretty quickly, and ours does well even without a ton of sun. And it smells so good. 

8) Hostas: These fill in shaded areas really nicely. We have some spots along our fence and along the front of the house where these have done really well.  There are many varieties of hosta, so just pick one that's your cup of tea.

9) Lilac:  I bought this plant and haven't gotten around to putting it the ground yet.  It's a full-sun perennial that will have pretty purple blooms at some point.  I consider it hardy because I placed it where I'd like it in the yard, and it gets knocked over by the dog and the sprinklers all the time... and it's still doing fine.

10) Compacta Holly: This plant has the look of boxwood without the smell.  Ours grew to probably 3-4 feet tall and almost as wide during the uninhabited period.  They are doing well in the sunny area of our backyard.  They can be trimmed and shaped, if you're into that sort of thing.  We just cut ours down to some sort of reasonable size so we could get by them on the walkway.

I hope this helps make the nursery seem less overwhelming.  I'm all about pretty plants, but I'd like them to not need much care. 

Happy gardening!


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